Trick-or-treating has been a treasured activity for many children through the generations.
From dressing up like your favorite cartoon character or fairytale princess to gathering a plastic jack-o-lantern full of sweets and goodies, there’s a lot that children of all ages can look forward to.
Unfortunately, the trick-or-treating portion of this celebrated holiday isn’t an option for a growing population of children with food allergies.
According to Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE), up to 15 million Americans have food allergies, including 5.9 million children under age 18.
That’s 1 in 13 children, or roughly two in every classroom.
It hasn’t always been this way--between 1997 and 2008, the prevalence of peanut or tree nut allergy appears to have more than tripled in U.S. children.
With many candies containing peanuts or tree nuts, naturally, many parents have cause for concern and anxiety.
Fortunately, this doesn’t mean that children with food allergies can’t find exciting ways to celebrate Halloween.
If you have a son or daughter who can’t participate in trick-or-treating, not to worry--we’ve got some idea starters for you. And they all cost less than $15.00.
#1 Art Supplies Scavenger Hunt
Visit your local dollar store to stock up on paints, paper, brushes, crayons, and other creativity-inducing items.
Hide them around your house or backyard, complete with clues to find the next item.
Once your child has found all of your items--it’s time to put them to use!
Encourage him or her to use imagination and artistic powers to create Halloween-themed paintings, collages, drawings, and other creations.
Perhaps you can even proudly put these creations on display for trick-or-treaters visiting your own home and have your child hand out non-allergen candy.
For anyone who has a son or daughter with an affinity for farm animals, Halloween is a great excuse to encourage dress-up in an Instagram-worthy, adorable animal costume.
To enhance the farm animal theme and engage your child in a brain-stimulating activity, Cubbie Lee’s Farm Animal Puzzle is a terrific (and affordable) option.
As an added bonus, the pieces are thick enough to stand alone--allowing children to engage in imaginary play with their friends, if and when they get tired of the puzzle aspect.
#3 Face Painting & Dress-Up
Don’t get us wrong--no trick-or-treating doesn’t imply that costumes and face painting are off-limits!
If your child’s friends are also fellow food allergies sufferers--why not make a face painting and costume dress-up party out of it?
Pull out those non-toxic paints, a costume box, and let the kids go to town!
Perhaps your child is adamant about joining friends or siblings for the trick-or-treating festivities, after acknowledging that he or she won’t partake in the candy portion.
If this is the case--you can help make your child feel special and included by gifting a fun and adorable companion to use as he or she walks through the neighborhood.
Our elephant pull-along (and an allergen-free snack you provide) can grant lasting fun and good feels for your son or daughter--just be sure to get your order in now so it will arrive in time for Halloween.
Food allergies can feel limiting for many children--but as a parent, you can make sure they still have the time of their lives!
Share your family’s experience with one of the above items or activities on social media--we want to know how it goes! Be sure to use the hashtag #cubbielee or tag Cubbie Lee on Facebook or Instagram.